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Stockholm - Newsletter August 2020

A Word from the pastor  

What religion are you? That question seems to be more and more difficult to answer for many. Previously, the typical response to that inquiry was to identify oneself with one of the main belief systems in the world.

Today, it is more and more common that people do not identify with any “organized religion”. In Sweden and other Western countries, some people still adhere to some form of Christianity, but for most people, God, if He even exists, is impersonal, a sort of “spiritual force” that can be shaped after one’s own taste.

The Social Justice Religion

So, what religion do people adhere to these days? The primary “belief system” out there today seems to be the “Social Justice Religion”. Everybody wants to bring justice to various people groups and situations. That desire in itself is obviously not a bad thing. However, the motives and methods for accomplishing the desired change is another story. Do we, as fallen human beings, even understand what justice means, especially from a divine point of view?

Interim Ethics

A world filled with justice has been humanity’s desire since the fall. The Bible says that it will be a reality when Christ returns and sets up His millennial kingdom (Ps 45:4-6; Isa 9:6-7; Jer 33:15-21). We are not quite there yet, though. However, in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5-7), Christ teaches us how we should behave in the interlude between the Lord’s 1st and 2nd comings, a form of “interim ethics”. Man is sometimes able to make a good showing in the flesh and outwardly live a good life (Gal 6:12). However, real and lasting transformation requires the new birth and the indwelling Holy Spirit (John 3:3-8; John 16:13; 2 Cor 5:17).

All People are Equal in Value

From man’s limited and twisted viewpoint, life is not fair. From God’s vantage point, though, life is fair since all people have been given a measure of faith by which they can respond to their Creator. Not all people have been given the same number of gifts, talents and qualifications (Matt 25:14-30; Luke 19:11-27). This is true for believers as well (Rom 12:3-8; 1 Cor 12:1-11). It is not about what we have but what we do with what we have, whether it is little or much. This is the basis for all judgement. All people are equal in value, but not when it comes to design, calling, responsibility and giftedness (1 Cor 7:17-24; Gal 3:28; Heb 13:17; 1 Pet 2:13-14).

Men and Women

For example, men and women are equal but different (Gen 1:26-28). The man is to be the provider and protector of the family (Gen 2:15; 2 Thess 3:10; 1 Tim 5:8). The woman is to be the homemaker and raise the children (Prov 14:1; Titus 2:4-5).

Old and Young

Young and old are also equal in value, but not when it comes to authority, positions and roles (Lev 19:32; Prov 20:29; 1 Kings 12:13-14; Eph 6:1-4). What the young do not have today, they will have tomorrow (authority and influence). What the old used to have, they do not have any more (physical strength and vitality). No generation is deprived of anything, neither can anyone keep anything.

Rich and poor

Finally, some people are born with a silver spoon in their mouth and others seem to lack even the most basic things in life. As Christians we are called to mitigate the suffering of those less privileged, when it is at all possible (2 Cor 8-9; Gal 2:10). However, we do not have a promise of justice and equality in this world, at least not from man’s perspective (Matt 26:11; Jas 5:1-6). But hold out, there will come a time when perfect justice will be manifested worldwide (Isa 11:3-5).

Do Not Try to Make Straight what God has Made Crooked 

Unfortunately, the new religion of social justice is an attack on God’s design for His creation as well as on His love and care for the entire human race. Life without God is extremely perplexing. Man, in his fallen condition, cannot figure out life (Eccl 8:6-7, 17). Even for believers, it is sometimes difficult to put matters straight.

“Consider the work of God; For who can make straight what He has made crooked? In the day of prosperity be joyful, But in the day of adversity consider: Surely God has appointed the one as well as the other, So that man can find out nothing that will come after him” (Eccl 7:13-14 NKJV).
Jesus Christ, Our Only Hope

There is One, however, who can straighten out the crooked path, the Lord Jesus Christ! While on earth, He did not have a formal religion and He did believe in social justice. He defined it differently, though. Today, as the Living Savior, He is the only one who can accomplish social justice, and He will – in His time and in His way! This is our comfort in these turbulent times, is it not?   
P. Mikael Toll

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Remembering the Life and Legacy of Pastor Jorma Immonen (1947-2020).

Recently, I was reached by the news that pastor Jorma had been promoted to his eternal abode. He and I go way back. I met him in the 1980s. He was already a “Greater Grace veteran” by then, having been one of the first people whom P. Schaller and the team met in Finland in the mid-70s. Pastor Jorma and I found each other immediately, having many interests, values and ideas in common.
The epitome of Greater Grace

He was somehow the epitome of Greater Grace. The philosophy of ministry and all the great values and convictions of the ministry that we treasure were in many ways personified in him. Doctrine, soul-winning, prayer, body-life and much more were not just theoretical terms in his life, but rather deep-rooted personal convictions lived out in his daily walk with the Savior. He was a great defender of the doctrine, faith and vision once delivered to us through P. Stevens, P. Schaller and others, whom he greatly appreciated and honored for their labor of love.  

A dismal diagnose 

In the spring of 1993, while attending a European conference in Poland, I first heard that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Pastor Stevens and a group of devout pastors laid hands on him and prayed for his healing. Obviously, God could have healed him, but it was not God’s will in his life. Instead, the Lord wanted to glorify himself in a different way through this amazing man of God. During his sickness, which lasted almost three decades, I never heard him complain about anything, neither did he blame God for his difficult situation. On the contrary, he was always positive and praised God through the various stages of his affliction. Like the Apostle Paul, he was strong when he was weak. Dazzlingly the glory of God shone through this, humanly speaking, feeble earthen vessel.  

Vitalizing visits

During his many years in Turku (he started the church in 1984), I visited him and the precious body in southwest Finland numerous times. We always spent time talking about the Bible and our worldwide vision as a ministry. He gladly made his pulpit available to me during my visits. He always encouraged me to preach the Word in season and out of season. Very often, as is customary in Finland, we went to sauna, until his condition no longer permitted him to do so. The last few years of his life he was physically weak but  spiritually strong. Despite his physical limitations, he often called me to say hello and to pray.

Meritorious mate

P. Jorma married Tiina in Lenox, Massachusetts, in 1983, 37 years ago. She helped and supported him to the very end. What an amazing effort – THANK YOU TIINA! Her Bema Seat rewards will dwarf even the greatest missionary or world evangelist. Let us all remember her in our prayers. That is the least we can do, is it not?  

Focus on the Mission field

In a recent rap, somebody shared a thought that deserves a comment. Someone said they were tired of hearing “I do not care these are the last days”. This is often the attitude when it comes to the moral decline of society and the like. Unfortunately, we are sometimes guilty of expressing the same mindset when it comes to missions. Why bother, these are the last days? Obviously, this is not what we should believe and practice. Although the current situation limits us in certain ways, prayer knows no bounds. We can tirelessly pound the atmosphere through intercession, until we, Lord willing, can travel freely again. Here is the August prayer calendar.
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I write this fully aware that it could be considered judgmental and provocative. I hope, of course, that will not be the case, but I feel this is something that needs to be addressed as it is very important in these times...
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Sermons on youtube and facebook

We have started to meet again on Sundays at Pumpan. Please contact for more information.

Every Sunday when we meet, we broadcast live on Facebook and we also post that sermon on Youtube a little later.

We publish the sermon in English on Youtube around 6 pm every Sunday.

Upcoming events

Due to the current situation, many people choose to cancel international conferences and meetings. We hope to be able to add events and international conferences to the calendar again soon.
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